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Health hazard evaluation report: HETA-92-0382-2450, Social Security Administration teleservice centers, Boston, Massachusetts, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Hoekstra EJ; Hurrell J; Swanson NG
Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HETA 92-0382-2450, 1994 Sep; :1-23
In response to a request from the National Council of Social Security Administration Field Operations Locals, an investigation was undertaken of musculoskeletal disorders and job stress at the Social Security Administration Teleservice Centers (SIC-9441) in Boston, Massachusetts and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Workers responded to toll free calls for assistance using a computer or manual search for information, and keyboard data entry. The Boston facility had adjustable furniture at workstations. Of the 108 workers who participated in the study, 73 reported symptoms meeting the case definition for an upper extremity, neck, or back work related musculoskeletal disorders (WMD). Neck symptoms were present in 44% of the cases and were the most frequently reported, followed by shoulder symptoms in 35%, back symptoms in 33%, hand/wrist symptoms in 30%, and elbow symptoms in 20%. Fort Lauderdale workers had a higher prevalence of WMD (78%) as compared to Boston workers. Physical and mental exhaustion, and job dissatisfaction were associated with work related variables. The authors conclude that a high prevalence of symptoms suggestive of work related musculoskeletal disorders was found. WMDs were associated with suboptimal ergonomic conditions. Workers at the center with older furniture and suboptimal ergonomic conditions reported WMDs more frequently. The authors recommend that ergonomic conditions be improved, workload variability controlled, and overtime hours limited.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Health-Hazard-Evaluation; NIOSH-Technical-Assistance-Report; HETA-92-0382-2450; Region-1; Region-4; Hazard-Confirmed; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Keyboard-operators; Ergonomics; Human-factors-engineering; Office-workers; Job-stress; Author Keywords: Administration of Social, Manpower, and Income Maintenance Programs; video display terminals; office automation; ergonomics; musculoskeletal disorders; cumulative trauma disorders; repetitive motion disorders; psychosocial; work stress
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Field Studies; Hazard Evaluation and Technical Assistance
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division